Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Six soldiers killed in blast named

Clockwise from top left, Sgt Nigel Coupe, Cpl Jake Hartley, Pte Anthony Frampton, Pte Daniel Wilford, Pte Daniel Wade and Private Christopher Kershaw (MoD)
Clockwise from top left, Sgt Nigel Coupe, Cpl Jake Hartley, Pte Anthony Frampton, Pte Daniel Wilford, Pte Daniel Wade and Private Christopher Kershaw (MoD)
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said morale among British soldiers in Afghanistan remains 'extremely high'
A message on a floral tribute at the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment's barracks in Warminster

Four of the six British soldiers killed in the deadliest single enemy attack on UK forces in Afghanistan since 2001 were aged just 20, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.

The men were named as Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, and Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Private Anthony Frampton, 20, Private Christopher Kershaw, 20, Private Daniel Wade, 20, and Private Daniel Wilford, 21, all of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment.

They died when their Warrior armoured vehicle was hit by an apparent improvised explosive device while on patrol in Helmand Province on Tuesday evening.

The soldiers, who had only been in Afghanistan for a few weeks, were hit by a blast about 25 miles north of Helmand's capital, Lashkar Gah, at 6.30pm local time (2pm UK time).

Ammunition on board the Warrior ignited, causing a fierce fire to burn for many hours.

The intensity of the blaze meant rescuers could not get near the vehicle, and its charred shell was only taken back to the main British base in Helmand, Camp Bastion, at 7.30pm on Wednesday night local time.

The MoD said it did not plan to release further information about the six soldiers until they have been formally identified. It is understood that this could take several days because experts are having to use DNA techniques to confirm their identities.

Pte Frampton went to Royds Hall High School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and signed up to the Army in 2009 at the age of 18, according to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Pte Wilford was just 16 when he joined the Army and Cpl Hartley, a former student at Earlsheaton High School in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was 17 when he enlisted, the paper reported.

The tragedy took the number of British troops who have died since the Afghan campaign began in 2001 to 404.

The Taliban told the BBC they carried out the attack and were "very proud of it".

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